Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) is an antibody present in most rheumatoid arthritis patients. Levels of anti-CCP can be detected in a patient through a blood test. A positive anti-CCP test result can be used in conjunction with other blood tests, imaging tests, and physical examinations to reach a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
A patient with rheumatoid arthritis who tests positive for anti-CCP in their blood has what’s known as seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. This is as opposed to someone who has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but tests negative for anti-CCP antibodies and/or rheumatoid factor.
A positive anti-CCP test result in rheumatoid arthritis patients can be used as a prognostic tool to determine the severity of symptoms the patient may have throughout the disease course. Anti-CCP positive patients can potentially experience a more aggressive disease course. However, this can also depend on many different factors and varies from patient to patient. The prognosis of anti-CCP positive patients also depends greatly on early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and how soon treatment can begin.